8 November 2007

Nigeria: Fake Chemicals, Not Doctors, Cause Wrong Diagnosis

The Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Professor Dora Akunyili yesterday said fake chemicals used for the manufacture of drugs and diagnosis in laboratories were responsible for most health problems in the country.

The DG, NAFDAC who was fielding questions from news men at the induction of 700 new members into the Institute of Chartered Chemists Of Nigeria (ICCON) stated that she never accused doctors of making wrong diagnosis as stated by some dailies but that the doctors diagnosis were misinformed by wrong results from labs caused by fake chemicals.

Professor Dora Akunyili pointed out that fake chemicals used in some laboratories, which according to her was no fault of the labs but some evils works of some persons interested in making quick money have endangered the lives of many citizens..

She explained that she had never at any opportunity indicted medical doctors but had only laid down her fears that fake chemicals can lead to fake diagnosis which in turn can misinform the doctors to make wrong analysis for their patients.

Calling for collaboration between the NAFCDAC and ICCON, Akunyili said, 'the institute of chartered chemists of Nigeria is a professional body whose responsibilities are of significant importance to the regulatory activities of NAFDAC.

She added that if ICCON were proactive in their duties and partner with NAFDAC then they would form a formibidable team capable of checking the excesses of some manufactures and producers in the country.

She added that a strong collaboration of the two bodies would go a long way in assisting the federal government to safeguard the lives of its citizens as well as ensure safety of all foods and drugs.

Akunyili stressed that the two institutes have a lot in common saying, 'NAFDAC regulates and controls the manufacture, importation, exportation, distribution, advertisement, sale and use of Drugs, medical devices, food, cosmetics, chemicals and all bottled drinks including pure water'.

She added that chemists also manufacture and assess all the regulated products being screened by NAFDAC and that if they joined forces they would rid the nation of fake drugs, foods and products in no time.

Speaking on the induction of new members into ICCON, Akunyili said that it was the celebration of excellence that according to her should be encouraged to fight corruption in the country.

Earlier the health minister, Professor Adenike Grange who was represented by the Director food and Drugs in the health ministry, Mrs Joyce Ugwu charged all chemists to make as their priority ways to contribute and support the health ministry to improve the health of Nigerians.

She challenged the institute to put in place measures to tackle issues like, 'innovations to process chemistry with the view to coming up with the appropriate formulations for the mass productions of chemicals for safe use in various sectors at very affordable prices.

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